2012 Le Mans 24 Hours: Toyota to race with a new hybrid image

Toyota has confirmed that it will make a return to the 2012 Le Mans 24 Hours race with a hybrid sports car in the LMP1 class. Toyota said the official name of the team would be confirmed in the coming weeks.

Toyota last competed in the Le Mans 24 Hours as a manufacturer in the late 1990s racing the GT-One, a car which famously established a new race lap record in 1999.

Tadashi Yamashina, Toyota Motor Corporation Senior Managing Officer and Toyota Motorsport Chairman, said: “Toyota has entered Le Mans before, but by using our hybrid technology this time will be a completely new challenge. We want to write a new chapter in the history of the Le Mans 24 Hours, as in the FIA World Endurance Championship, through our use of hybrid technology.

Toyota Motorsport in Germany will develop the new hybrid LMP1 racer, with the hybrid drivetrain coming from HQ in Japan. No other information is available at this moment.

The Japanese carmaker has been seeking a new challenge in top level motorsport since they pulled out of Formula One at the end of 2009.